A month ago I started experiencing a problem that had nothing to do with MS and I can’t even tell you how exciting that is. I generally steer clear of scatological talk (cause lets face it, it’s disgusting!) but for the sake of this discussion I must explain that my “problem” brings to mind a Niagara Falls metaphor.
Having symptoms that change as fast as Facebook status updates, I’m very aware of what I feel when and for how long. After five days with this unfortunate experience, I went to my GP. She sent me for blood tests and x-rays and then to a gastroenterologist who sent me for a cat scan, and now I have a colonoscopy on the calendar. Apparently I have “mild, non-specific swelling in the lymph nodes of my abdomen and groin” (isn’t groin an unpleasant word…kinda like spleen or bile). So I’m curious what is wrong and hope that it has something to do with my abdomen sporting the pregnant-chic look; but the investigation and not knowing doesn’t faze me. Being poked, prodded, tested and schlepping all over town for the right specialist to bring test results for reassessment isn’t foreign to me. And I have no doubt I will be fine. But the surprising part of this experience isn’t the blasé optimism I’ve so easily found. No. The part of this that has me sitting with my jaw slack-and-agape is that this is the first time in my adult life that I’ve had a health concern that isn’t MS related.
As a woman who has been living with this “nobody knows why” disease, I have learned to accept what is, and not throw my hands up in the air with every new symptom. But look at me now! I have films and digital renderings that correlate with my symptoms. Did you follow that? I have symptoms that actually reflect what is going on in my body. Look! It’s here, here and here on my catscan! This is a totally new experience for me. MS is an amorphous disease. It’s often hard to describe a symptom and it can’t be pinpointed on a scan. While MRIs are an amazing diagnostic tool, they don’t provide a map to the symptoms that impede my ability to function everyday. No one looks at my annual MRI and says “Hey, this scar here is why you can’t walk far; this one is why you are incontinent and have regular bouts of pain and this is the pesky little guy that makes you dizzy all the time.”
So, here I am, reclining on my flexible office chair with my hands behind my head, smiling. Of course I can deal with this. It is actually fun. But in the midst of this bliss I find myself glancing around to make sure no one is looking at me; sitting with the sad, pointless speculation of what my life could have been had this been my first major health issue. Of course I shake it off and look to the more positive aspects of being me, while trying not to lament my summer reality that I can’t really leave the house unless it becomes unseasonably cool, that I’ve been taking so many medications for the last two decades that I have to carry around those little plastic reminder cases and that I struggle with the fear of the unpredictability of doing errands alone.
I take a moment to mourn this loss and then I go back to the bliss of a health problem that will very likely be resolved. And while I’m there I breakout the list of things that make my life full and fabulous. Cause lucky me! I got a bunch of those. And at this moment, the best part is that I will count down the days until my colonoscopy when I will likely learn exactly what is wrong with me and how to fix it.
I am so excited.
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Carnival of MS Blogs, Amy Gurowitz. Amy Gurowitz said: I Can’t Wait ’till My Colonoscopy! : http://wp.me/p3XOZ-ed […]
ONLY YOU!!!!! Only you, Amy would have such a positive spin on what has been such an annoyance! But if anyone can…. you certainly CAN make lemonade when handed lemons! mmm ~ that sounds good for our lunch date tomorrow 🙂
I’m so glad you will finally get some answers and I pray there will be a speedy resolve!
Thanks Linda! It’s the only way I can cope… with a sense of humor and by putting it all out there for everyone to read. It’s quite a thrill actually… Your comment is appreciated… it bumps everything up a notch!
You are such a treasure. Your sharing of your personal experiences should be a guidebook for everyone. I know they are for me. Like: “If life gives you a lemon, pucker up, ride it out and then create a new recipe for lemonade” .
Thanks for saying so Judy. Your response will continue to resonate for me, and with all this talk of lemonades Keith and I are leaving now to pick some up! xoxo
Well, I see congratulations are in order! LOL So congrats on having a discernible and no doubt curable health problem; something totally foreign to MS which doesn’t need any speculation or “understanding” to decipher the symptoms and treatment.
Knowing you were not well, I found myself struggling to decide which news I hoped you would receive. Did I want it to be “just MS” or was I hoping it was something new and treatable? I went with new and treatable because I didn’t want to think your MS was progressing. Apparently I made the right choice because you are thrilled with the findings.
Only people with chronic, incurable health conditions can understand your glee! Enjoy this entry into uncharted waters as you finally get a chance to experience a non-related MS symptom!
And as always thanks for the hearty laugh. I never get enough of your posts!
Thanks Darline~ You understand my posts at a level only one who is in the club does. 🙂 And your comments are always spot on. And… they make me smile. Thanks for all that!
you are awesome! way to put perspective on how much we have to appreciate. plus u just reminded me i need to do one of those scopy thingys 😉
Thanks Lynna~ If you’d like me to do an annual post to remind you next year, I’d be happy to provide! 😉
Judy and Linda both said it so well. Amy, you are an inspiration and so gifted at all you do, especially your PMA (that’s positive mental attitude). xxx, Jill
PMA— I like that! Thanks for your kind words Jill. They feel good to read!
Well! Your irrepressible sense of humor rules the day! This IS something different! And of course, your medical education will now attain another level of mastery.
I hope the answers come quickly and the remedy is rapid and painless. Getting rid of the post-steroid tummy would be a huge bonus.
Keep us posted, and know you are in my thoughts…………
Thanks Connie.. I like keeping the world at large posted 😉 I will certainly put you on the top of that list.
I truly appreciate your responses; they always bring a smile to my face~
Michelle… I love love love Dave Barry. I saw him speak at a bookstore when i lived in Miami. He signed my book “with memories of prom night, still breathing heavy, Dave Barry” I think he thought I was younger that I was, which at the time- was much younger! I’d love to post this response but I think it’s too long. Any chance you can resubmit it with your words and then a link to this? I have to tell you, I was having a very annoying moment when I found this response…and it really brought me up. So thanks for that… and your ongoing supportive words~
I Can't Wait 'till My Colonoscopy! « MS~LOL: Multiple Sclerosis a ……
I found your entry interesting so I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…
Amy, you always make me smile! I know the feeling exactly – I’m pleased to report that my teeth and gums (according to the hygenist) are very healthy and well cared for. So nice to know there’s something that actually is going right! Oh, the power! I wish you a speedy recovery. With any luck they’ll send you home with photos and you can post them 😉 I had mine framed. Thanks for the smiles!
Hi Nancy, I wanted to let you know that your comment has been a regular reread when I need a pick me up! Thanks for that!
Words cannot describe the way your posts and blog entries keep me going from day to day, your humor, your PMA, it’s all rolled into one person I look forward to hearing from. I have had MANY colonoscopies in my lifetime yet I don’t think I have EVER looked forward to them in the way that you are this one (except for the drugs and the post cathater to help with bladder issues)
Please Keep up the fantastic attitude and even when your not feeling so fantastic, don’t forget to post on that as well, we all have our downtimes and to know that someone “we” look up to also expirences those lets us know it’s ok that it’s not all sunshine and roses, it’s ok to be down and work through the depression, it’s ok to be…Human, about it all.
In the meantime lets us know when the colonoscopy is and I’m sure MANY thoughts will go out to you on that day that things go well and can be taken care of as someone put it painlessly and quickly.
Take care and keep on posting!
I like your story about the novelty of a non-MS malady, as I recently had some
incidents like yours.
Now, with everything okay, the whole time I was thinking, well, THIS can be FIXED by the DOCTORS! No mystery,
no unpredictability, what a RELAXING medical problem!
Of course, that “everything turned out to be normal,” is the only thing that makes
me comfortable to tell the story; so I hope your NOVELTY turns out as well, and I
admire your bravery & humor.